By: Freddie G. Lazaro and Mark Anthony Corpuz, PIA, Ilocos Norte
CURRIMAO, Ilocos Norte – Law enforcers of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has assured tight security on an impounded Taiwanese vessel loaded with large volume of cigarettes at Currimao port here.
Petty Officer 2 Michael Guray, the acting deputy commander of the Currimao PCG station, said on Friday that the boat and its seven crews remain under their custody while the Bureau of Customs (BOC) is validating the authenticity of the documents of the cigarettes.
“The ship will stay in our custody while we are waiting the order from the BOC,” he said.
It was recalled that the Taiwanese cargo vessel loaded with more or less 2,000 boxes of cigarettes was impounded last November 19, 2014 after the BOC has initially claimed that the cigars have no shipping documents.
Among the brands of cigars found inside the ship were MM (black packed) charcoal and MM (white packed) charcoal, all made in Europe; and Golden Bridge, PRC and Dubliss, all made in China.
Guray said the ship was heading towards Taiwan when it was intercepted.
Likewise, he also assured the safety of the seven vessel’s crews namely: Chen Yonj, Chen Dali, Lin Lin Jyh; all Taiwanese nationals; Narun, Nurkholik, Dedi Ariyanto and Candra Natari, all Indonesian nationals.
Meanwhile, lawyer Josephus Nerez, legal counsel of the ship owner – Bumijaya International Trading Company, Inc., claimed that the transport of the vessel’s cigars load was considered legal as it had bill of lading documents.#